What is a Pelvic Wellness Clinic?
The Urology Hospital’s Pelvic Wellness Clinic is a unique, multidisciplinary clinic that combines the expertise of specialists with a common focus on the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic floor disorders. The dedicated specialists combine urology, urogynaecology and colorectal surgery as a one-stop clinic for diagnosing and treatment of all pelvic health needs. The Pelvic Wellness is designed to offer individualized treatment options to meet each individual’s need and lifestyle.
What is a Pelvic Floor?
Both men and women have a pelvic floor. In women, the pelvic floor is the muscles, ligaments, connective tissues and nerves that support the bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum and help these pelvic organs function. In men, the pelvic floor includes the muscles, tissues and nerves that support the bladder, rectum and other pelvic organs.
What are Pelvic Floor Disorders (PDFs)?
Pelvic floor disorders are a group of conditions that affect the pelvic floor. A pelvic floor disorder occurs when the support structures of the pelvic organs becomes weak or damaged. The three main types of pelvic floor disorders are but not limited to: pelvic organ prolapse (a condition in which the uterus, bladder and bowel may "drop" onto the vagina and cause a bulge through the vaginal canal); lack of bowel control/faecal incontinence and lack of bladder control/urinary incontinence
What Causes Pelvic Floor Disorders (PDFS)?
In general, a pelvic floor disorder is due to weakened pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue. A damaged pelvic floor cannot continue to provide the support that your organs need to work effectively. As this structure weakens, normal functioning of the bowel, bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum can be affected. Childbirth and/or giving birth more than once is a main causes of pelvic floor disorders; Overweight and obese woman has a greater risk; a history of pelvic surgery or radiation treatments can cause these disorders as these treatments can damage nerves and other tissues in the pelvic floor. Other risk factors that can increase pelvic floor disorders include repeated heavy lifting or even genes.
What are the symptoms of Pelvic Floor Disorders?
People with PDFs may experience: urinary problems for example an urgent need to urinate, painful urination or incomplete emptying of their bladder; constipation, pain or straining during bowel movements; pain or pressure in the vagina/rectum; a heavy feeling in the pelvis or a bulge in the vagina or rectum and muscle spasms in the pelvis.
Who treats Pelvic Floor Disorders?
A combination of experts provides the best treatment outcome for patients. At the Urology Hospital’s Pelvic Wellness Centre, women and men are treated by a specialist team that include a urologist, urogynaecologist, colorectal surgeon, gastroenterologist, physiotherapist and a dedicated nurse that coordinates care through the Pelvic Wellness Centre.
When should one seek help for pelvic floor disorders?
If you suspect that you may have a PFD, or experience any of the warning signs listed you should speak with a doctor about these symptoms. Do not let embarrassment stop you from seeking medical attention as there are many treatment options available to you and if you do nothing to correct the problems, unfortunately, most often the symptoms increase and other forms of PFD may develop. If you are not experiencing any signs or symptoms of PFD, take steps to ensure that you are knowledgeable on what you should be doing, or avoiding, to prevent issues.
The Pelvic Wellness unit consists of a team of experts in their field, with state of the art technology. This means we can give you a holistic overview of your Pelvic health, in a friendly and helpful environment.
Dr Frans van Wijk
Contact: 012 342 9417/8
Dr Paul Swart
Contact: 012 328 4326
Dr Norbert Welkovics
Surgeon & Intensivist
Contact: 012 664 3903